Toxic City

December 2, 2009
Fire escapes dangle precariously
off the corner of buildings,
leering over my head as I amble with my daughter
in the city that is now home.

Previously, home was suburbia:
cool blue skies and houses perfectly aligned.
Today, home is wherever my job takes me.

A man blows a puff of dingy grey smoke
that swirls, wafting over the nose and mouth of my daughter.
She turns to me, small hand in mine.
“Mommy,” she cries, “I can’t breathe here!”





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